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Thursday, Jan 19, 2012

  

Skyrim Version 1.4 and Creation Kit Near

The Bethesda Blog outlines plans for a version 1.4 patch for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim that's currently in testing on all three of the RPG sequel's platforms. They also say the Creation Kit for mod support and the Steam Workshop should be released by the end of the month, and that version 1.4 is the first of the game's patches to be offered as an opt-in beta through Steam. Here's the change log: Continue here to read the full story.

Steamships Ahoy - Unstoppable Gorg

Steam News announces the release of Unstoppable Gorg, the new take on the tower defense genre from Futuremark Game Studio. The game is on sale for 10% off for the next week, and here's word on what it offers:

Get ready to experience a revolution in tower defense that will send you spinning. Unstoppable Gorg challenges you to defend the solar system from fearsome aliens by sending satellites into orbit. Unlike other tower defense games, in Unstoppable Gorg you can move your towers by rotating the orbits that surround planets, moons and space stations.

Unstoppable Gorg is a lovingly crafted homage to vintage sci-fi films from the 1950s. Flying saucers, rubbery aliens, dodgy effects, it's got it all. The game's story scenes were shot on film using models, miniatures and live action actors and then edited together with genuine archive footage to create a classic sci-fi experience that is out of this world.

Syndicate Released on GOG.com

GOG.com announces the promised release of the original Syndicate on their DRM-free marketplace. Here's their write-up: "Played from a top-down isometric view, Syndicate presents the player with a simple goal: world domination. As a “Marketing Director”--or, more accurately, a hitman--for a new syndicate, the player will need to lead a squad of four operatives to infiltrate, capture, search, and destroy their way to the top of the corporate food chain. Critically acclaimed for its gameplay, splashy graphics, and deep customization options, Syndicate is one of those good old titles that every gamer should have on their shelf. "

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Fan Film

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Monolith's Whisper is a fan-created, live-action film based on the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series of first-person shooters. This is a full-length movie, also available on DVD.

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

  • Select Sonic Titles on Steam. Save 50% to 75%.
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  • Storm in a Teacup on Steam. Save 15%.

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Into the Black

Link of the Day: Laser Pointer Hack. Thanks Ant.

Resident Evil 6 Announced

Capcom officially announces Resident Evil 6, saying the next installment in the survival/horror series will hit consoles on November 20, and Windows PCs at some point after that. Capcom-Unity has a Resident Evil 6 reveal trailer, and here's word on the game, which will star Leon S. Kennedy and Chris Redfield:

Resident Evil 6 portrays a world where an escalation in bioterrorist attacks across the globe has led to widespread fear among the population. In an attempt to quell the panic and curb the bioterrorist activity the President of the United States has decided to speak to the nation but not before the very location of the address itself comes under attack. With the President's safety compromised the situation for the rest of the world seems hopeless.

In a first for the franchise, Resident Evil 6 sees series favourites Leon S. Kennedy and Chris Redfield come together to face this unprecedented threat. They will be joined by new characters, each with their own unique perspective and involvement in this relentless dramatic horror experience enacted on a global scale.

The Old Republic Cancellation Issues; Trailer

The Star Wars: The Old Republic Forums have posts from players having trouble cancelling their accounts for the MMORPG yesterday on the eve of when the one-month free accounts activated on the game's first day will be billed for their first paid month of service. Massively notes this thread with a workaround, and that customer service suggests customers with such issues contact them by phone. On the other hand, BioWare announces how not cancelling will earn players a "Founder" title, and the website now offers a video showing new features coming to the game in the future. In a separate bit of news related to the game, this post has word from the game's Live Community Coordinator that they have temporarily disabled posting for all community members on the Star Wars: The Old Republic Forums. No explanation for this is offered.

Ghost Recon Online Video Diary

A new video developer diary for Ghost Recon Online called "Bravo: Becoming an Elite Ghost" shows off the customizable elements of Ubisoft's upcoming multiplayer third-person shooter. The clip also offers a look the play styles of the game's three character classes. Continue here to read the full story.

Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition Trailer

The Bethesda Blog now offers a new trailer from Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition, the action/RPG bundle that's due next month. The clip shows off settings and action from the package, which includes the original game along with the Dead Money, Honest Hearts, Old World Blues, and Lonesome Road add-ons. Continue here to read the full story.

Diablo III Systems Changes

The Diablo III Website announces some systems changes for Blizzard's upcoming action/RPG, as they are describe plans to revamp crafting, items, core attributes, and inventory based on feedback from the game's ongoing beta test, adding they are also implementing changes to the game's skill and rune systems that they aren't prepared to discuss just yet. How this might impact the game's release schedule goes unmentioned, though they do note: "No one will remember if the game is late, only if it's great." Specific changes they announce are the removal of scrolls of identification, the addition of a dedicated potion button, the removal of superfluous system objectives such as the Mystic artisan, the Cauldron of Jordan, and the Nephalem Cube, and that common items will no longer be salvageable. They also outline changes to attributes, as they are dropping Defense, Attack, and Precision, leaving characters with Strength, Dexterity, Intellect, and Vitality. Here's more on the plan moving forward:

There’s a lot of work left to be done, though. We’re constantly tuning and making balance changes; it’s a massive task. Some of these changes can be seen in the beta, like changes to item rarity, the levels at which we introduce affixes, and how many affixes enemies can roll up. Some you can’t see in the beta, like balancing the difficulty of the entire game for four different difficulty levels, adding tons of new affixes, creating legendary items, filling out crafting recipes and itemization, working on achievements, and implementing Battle.net features. We’re also working on a number of other large systems changes -- specifically with the skill and rune systems. We're not quite ready to share what those are just yet, but we look forward to being able to do so in the near future.

We want Diablo III to be the best game it can be when it launches. To get there, we're going to be iterating on designs we've had in place for a long time, making changes to systems you've spent a lot of time theorycrafting, and removing features you may have come to associate with the core of the experience. Our hope is that by embracing our iterative design process in which we question ourselves and our decisions, Diablo III won't just live up to our expectations, but will continue to do so a decade after it's released.

A Game of Dwarves Revealed

Paradox Interactive reveals plans for A Game of Dwarves, a strategy/management game from Zeal Game Studios coming to Windows and PlayStation Network later this year. This is one of a few tidbits this morning coming out of Paradox's game convention, but there's no official announcement of this yet. Strategy Informer does offer some preliminary details: "The gameplay consists of controlling a settlement of dwarves, who are able to dig, build and conduct research in order to strengthen your clan. You'll need to help the dwarves defend themselves as well, since terrible beasts come from the depths into which they delve. Dwarves can also level up and gain new skills, turning them into hardened warriors or master craftsmen." If the title is a play on A Game of Thrones, at least we can presume that if winter is coming, it should be short.

Magicka: The Other Side of the Coin Announced

Paradox Interactive announces Magicka: The Other Side of the Coin, a new expansion for Arrowhead's action/adventure game, saying it will offer "a completely new take on the Magicka universe" along with "objective based level progression, new story and brand new playable characters." The add-on is due before the middle of this year, and here's a feature list:

  • Play as Alucart the Vampire and his henchmen, the Necromancers
  • New environment of beautiful Elven architecture
  • 1 Challenge map, playing as necromancers
  • Necromancer introduced to PvP
  • Custom objectives and achievements
  • Innovative and dynamic spellcasting system with thousands of possible combinations
  • Up to four player co-op in all game modes as well as single player option
  • Experience the parody and satire of a cliché fantasy world

Napoleon's Campaigns II Announced

At their gaming convention, Paradox Interactive announces Napoleon's Campaigns II, a grand strategy sequel scheduled for release by the end of this year. The game will offer unit production, diplomacy, the quest for "Napoleonic Glory," eight-player multiplayer support, and more. Word is: "With Napoleon’s Campaigns II you will play an epic grand historical scenario covering the whole of the Napoleonic Wars, ten years of conflict in Europe and the rest of the world between 1805 and 1815."

BioShock Infinite Parties Like It's 1999

Irrational Games announces 1999 Mode, a challenging mode for BioShock Infinite, their upcoming continuation of the BioShock series. For those expecting them to make it rain purple, remember that 1999 marked the release of one of the game's spiritual predecessors, System Shock 2. Here's word:

BioShock Infinite’s 1999 Mode will feature an especially demanding gaming experience, forcing you to examine your decisions while going through your adventure in Columbia. With every choice you make, there are irreversible implications, and if your choices guide you down a path not suited to your play style, you will suffer for it.

It’s not simply a matter of adjusting the difficulty sliders in the game – the team went much further than that. Resource planning? If you’re to survive this mode, proper planning will be crucial. Combat specializations? You’ll need to develop them efficiently and effectively throughout the story; any weapon will be useless to you unless you have that specialization. Combat? You will need to carefully target every shot, and your health will be set to an entirely different baseline. Game saves? Well, yes, there will be those, but according to Irrational Games Creative Director Ken Levine “there are game saves, and you’re gonna f***ing need them.”

“We want to give our oldest and most committed fans an option to go back to our roots,” said Levine. “In 1999 Mode, gamers face more of the permanent consequences of their gameplay decisions. In BioShock Infinite, gamers will have to sweat out the results of their actions. In addition, 1999 Mode will demand that players pick specializations, and focus on them.”

DDO Expands This Summer

A new producer's letter announces Menace of the Underdark, the upcoming first expansion for the free-to-play era in Dungeons & Dragons Online, Turbine's MMORPG. This is to be launched this summer, adding frequently requested features like an increased level cap, the addition of a Druid class, and the first adventures using the Forgotten Realms setting.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Emergency Patch

This forum post follows up on the PvP issues in the new version 1.1 patch for Star Wars: The Old Republic, the MMORPG an analyst now claims cost EA as much as $500M to develop (thanks Joao). The post explains that a game mechanic is not working as intended under heavy loads, and that this will be addressed by a new lower population limit on the Ilum server and an emergency patch, forcing them to immediately contradict their promise of 24 hours advance notice for maintenance (this subsequent post indicates patching is underway at this very moment). They also address rumors exaggerating the extent of the problem, saying: "To dispel a couple of rumors that have been seen today – there is no Valor gain from destroying turrets within enemy bases, and none from killing NPCs." Finally, the post relates word from Associate Community Manager Joveth Gonzalez that they are considering actions to address the worst abuses of this situation:

I just wanted to be clear and let you all know that we’re definitely aware of individuals who took extreme advantage of this situation and we will be carefully evaluating and taking action as necessary.

AION F2P Preparations

The Aion Free-to-Play Website is on high alert as they prepare for next month's transition for the European edition of AION from a subscription system to a free-to-play model. They are now offering advance downloads of the new F2P client for the MMORPG, information on how to prepare for the switch, and opportunities to get into the F2P closed beta right away. Meanwhile, there are no indications that the North American version of the game is gearing up to go free-to-play anytime soon (the game has different publishers in each territory), the latest update on the North American Website for AION Online has word that they reset the Paid Character Transfer Queue yesterday.

Take On Helicopters Language Pack

Bohemia Interactive now offers a Take On Helicopters Language Pack, adding new localizations to Take On Helicopters, their flight simulation. This free update applies to the boxed Czech edition and all versions of the game purchased online except the Steam edition, which will update automatically. Word is all other versions of the game will get the language pack in the game's upcoming third patch. Thanks Gamer's Hell.

More Sonic Games Running to PC

SEGA announces they are following the release of Sonic Generations for Windows PC with PC editions of some of the hyperactive hedgehogs previous outings:

SEGA® of America, Inc. and SEGA® Europe Ltd. are delighted to announce three exciting Sonic the Hedgehog™ adventures will be available for the PC Digital Download market starting today.

Following on from the successful launch of Sonic Generations™ for the PC digital market in December 2011, the stunning new downloadable Sonic Generations™ Casino Night Pinball Stage is now available, adding to a grand adventure with Classic and Modern Sonic racing to defeat the Time Eater, save their friends and find out who really is behind all these strange happenings.

Sonic CD™ follows the classic story line from the original 1993 SEGA CD™ system game with Sonic racing through time to save Amy Rose from his evil mechanical twin Metal Sonic. This super speedy remake includes brand new features and will be hitting PC digital stores for the first time today!

Finally, as an added bonus, the much-anticipated Sonic the Hedgehog™ 4 Episode I will be available, enabling PC owners to enjoy the beautifully rendered HD environments of the special stages and a variety of different Zones, all inspired by the Genesis era. The Sonic 4 saga will continue to grow in 2012 with the new side-scrolling adventure Sonic the Hedgehog™ 4 Episode II, releasing later this year for PC digital download.

Retro Blazer Alpha

Retro Blazer is a new standalone free game based on the Dark Places version of the QUAKE engine. An alpha version is now available for those who find this description appealing: "Battle through 7 levels of fast paced classic FPS action! Fast dashing and quick trigger projectiles allow you to blast through with rapid pace, all while featuring a nostalgic graphic style in full 32 bit color. Darkplaces engine allows you to play on Mac PC or Linux, and comes pre-bundled." Thanks quake.de via celephais.

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